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XBox was Microsoft's big break into the world of video game consoles. Creating
what was essentially a PS running on Windows architecture, the original XBox
was considered a long shot to compete with major developers Sony and Nintendo.
Today, however, the XBox 360 is one of the dominant platforms on the market.
Microsoft got their first taste for the console business when they helped
develop the operating system for Sega's Dreamcast. Although much loved, the
Dreamcast failed to catch on with the masses and Microsoft was free to pursue
other avenues in the world of home gaming. Thus began the development of the
The XBox focused on providing a full multi-media package for its owners. With
a hard drive included with every console, it provided options that its
competitors the Playstation 2 and the Gamecube did not: the ability to
download games, music, and videos directly to the machine. In addition, games
could load faster by downloading game assets to the hard drive.
One of the few aspects Microsoft missed the boat on was the ability to market
the device as a DVD player. Although the Xbox was more than capable of playing
standard DVDs, it required the purchase of a separate remote control to
activate the DVD player. Meanwhile, the PS2 was being marketed as the cheapest
DVD player on the market, resulting in it becoming the top selling console in
the United States.
Where the XBox really excelled over its competition was the world of online
gaming. Microsoft understood that head to head, online gaming attracted the
most hardcore and loyal crowds. PC games had been catering to the market for
years. By including high speed internet connectivity out of the box, the XBox
was able to tap into this market. Games like Halo 2 became multiplayer hits
and completely changed the face of multiplayer console gaming.
The only American company manufacturing a console platform, the XBox has had
difficulties catching on in Japan. As many of the more reliable game
developers are exclusively based in Japan and primarily concerned with their
home audience, Microsoft turned their attention to North American development
companies. With a whole new generation of developers and game designers in
their court, Microsoft's Xbox became one of the most innovative platforms for
new games ever.
The XBox 360, the latest iteration of the XBox, is one of the top sellers in
the world of video games. It has utterly crushed the Playstation 3, its
closest competitor. Featuring a revamped XBox Live online service and state of
the art graphics, the 360 is topping monthly game sales charts.
With a devoted fan base and top of the line developers, it looks like the XBox
brand is here to stay.
| Xbox - probably the largest choice of Xbox in the UK!|